One crucial piece of advice for every recruiter, hiring manager, and question-asker on your team? Never forget that every interview is a two-way street. You’re evaluating each candidate for their fit on your team, sure, but they are also evaluating your potential as an employer—and the most successful companies know how to put their best foot forward with that in mind.
We recently provided some tips to help insurers stay competitive in the search for new talent. Peppered into that advice were some suggestions on how to showcase those strategies to make a positive first impression with candidates.
But, like a blind date with your potential soulmate, this is an interaction you need to get just right—and quick tips alone won’t cut it. So let’s take a closer look at more ways you can set every interview up for success.
Make sure you build in time for interviewers and interviewees to introduce themselves during their conversations. This will help prospective employees get to know the people they’d be working with, and that’s a critical factor in employment decision-making.
As in many industries, a focus on increasing diversity in the insurance space is paying off as employees with a broad spectrum of perspectives fill the ranks. Your team members are your greatest assets, and allowing them to shine in interviews with job candidates will help candidates get to know your organization better.
You need creative, compelling work from your employees, and interviews are designed to help you evaluate whether a candidate can deliver that. But to inspire insightful answers during those interviews, you need to ask creative and compelling questions.
So don’t be the subject of the many job interview memes out there. Instead, ask questions that will surprise and delight your interviewees—and illustrate what makes you unique as an employer, even in what some people may perceive to be a “stuffy” industry.
Start by taking a look at your standard list of questions and asking yourself what each says about your organization. Then, make improvements accordingly.
For instance, “Tell me about a time when you had to think on your feet to get a challenging project done” is fine. But “On our team, we value collaboration. Can you tell me about a time when you were able to inspire colleagues to help you rally around a challenge?” is better.
The recruitment process is inevitably quite formal, as both hiring teams and applicants need to position themselves as professional, capable, and intelligent. But again, the human element is important—so make sure you’re presenting your team as approachable and relatable to your candidates.
This means being respectful and showing candidates you genuinely care about their experience. Start by avoiding the phrase “we’ll be in touch” and instead offering specific timelines in which candidates can expect you to follow up.
Authenticity also means honesty and clarity when your interviewers respond to candidates’ questions (which, by the way, you should also build time for in your interviews), and you may want to remind your interviewers to be friendly on video calls with applicants. It’s an intimidating process and you can leave a lasting positive impression on candidates by helping them feel more comfortable.
Speaking of video interviews, in a post-COVID world, the remote approach is likely to remain as the new normal. This is good news, because it means safely and effectively engaging with job candidates from anywhere—saving the time and expense of travel, without sacrificing the value of face-to-face interaction interviews.
However, it also means you need to have a good handle on interviewing technology to let candidates know you’re a savvy and forward-thinking organization. The insurance space is ripe for new advancements in data analytics, AI, and more, so having a smooth and state-of-the-art recruitment process will show potential employees that you’re ahead of the curve and well positioned to give them a prime place on that trajectory for innovation.
Whether you’re in P&C, life insurance, health benefits, or any other category in this industry, your organization plays a crucial role in helping individuals and organizations live and operate confidently. Without insurance, much of our daily activities would be crippled by risk—so your services really do help the world go ‘round.
Don’t be shy about this. Share your passion for this space and its positive impact on customers with candidates. Job seekers want to join companies whose missions they can get behind, and providing a critical safety net for people and businesses in all walks of life could certainly fit that bill.
As you look for a new generation of talent, setting up your interview process for success for both your team and candidates is key in hiring the best talent. And you can start today with our video interviewing platform – click here to chat with a customer success expert to learn how our technology can help you level up your interviews.
Meghan Peterson is the VP of Revenue at interviewstream. She combines her experience in sales, recruiting, and tech to support customers of all sizes in her role. If you’d like to pick her brain about her advice here or simply start a conversation, feel free to give Meg a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.